Isolation is a dangerous act. Whether it is forced by the ones around us or a choice made by us to be alone isolation separates the victim from society damaging them emotionally. In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the monster, Frankenstein’s monster, comes to know the true act of isolation.
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The monster was not only cast out by the townspeople but by his creator. Their prejudiced views of the monster as only that, a monster, turned him into what they truly sought him out to be. Through the theme of isolation, the story develops to show the reader the dangers of prejudice. The two themes go hand in hand, but isolation plays a more key role in the novel. The monster was not the only character to face this act but suffered from it the most. Isolation, the primary theme of the novel, shows how the effects of the monster being segregated by the only people he knew, as the reason for the creature’s acts of destruction.
The monster was created by Victor Frankenstein and with its creation, the monster was faced with rejection by its creator. Victor isolated himself with his studies, “chosen isolation… Victor Frankenstein loses connection from society and family, becoming obsessed with his research” (Brown). He worked and worked trying to create his creature. Victor Frankenstein develops a feeling of solitude after obsessing over creating the monster and paranoia of the destruction from the monster. In consequence of the solitude Victor forces upon himself, he is left with no one.
When the monster comes to life Victor turns away from his creation. Forcing the monster to face the same isolation victor brought upon himself, but the action of Victor’s abandonment of his creation had bigger consequences than the isolation Victor faced. Victor slaves over the idea of creating an animated creature and after months of work, he finally, finished his creation but when faced by what he created, he was horrified. Unable to endure the aspect of the being [he] has created, [he] rushed out of the room (47). Filled with prejudice based only on the looks of the monster, Victor abandons his creation. Isolating himself to create an animated being Victor abandons the monster so quickly despite the time he took to create it.
Victor had no goals of creating the monster to have anything, but good intentions, but it was from the abandonment in the early moments of the monster’s life which results in the change of the monster’s intentions. “Isolation [is] a vehicle for madness,” which is the reason for the monster becoming the monster everyone saw. Casting him out from society, turning away when the monster showed no harm until the actions of the townspeople towards Frankenstein’s creation turned him into the monster they thought he was.
Due to the isolation, the monster felt after his creation, the monster wanted to learn how to assimilate into the community to avoid isolation. The monster wandered through the town, attempting to find comfort from anyone but is instead, faced with rejection. The look of the monster made people turn away from him; prejudice took over anyone that met the monster based solely on the looks the monster was given. It was only when the monster met the blind doctor that he wasn’t turned away before the monster could show the good intentions it has. Through this scene, prejudice was most apparent.
It’s the prejudice that the townspeople have for the monster that leads to the monster’s isolation. It is only after the monster is secluded from a society that his intentions began to change. Victor Frankenstein didn’t create the monster to be evil, but when society treats the monster with the attitude that he is that is what will reflect on the monster. The monster recognizes the outcast he is saying, I am alone and miserable, man will not associate with me, but one as deformed and horrible as myself would not deny himself to me (103). The monster did not want to be alone, he even tries to learn English to communicate with the villagers but with every attempt at communicating with society the monster is turned away violently.
The true evil isn’t the monster or Victor, it’s the isolation the monster was faced to endure. Through social isolation, madness broke out of the monster which leads to the actions of the monster. From the terrorization of seclusion, Frankenstein’s creation in return terrorized the village. The actions of the monster were not from evil intentions, but from the way the townspeople treated him. In the end, the monster became what everyone viewed him as, a monster.
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